Sunday is the gruelling London Marathon and among the over 50,000 competitors seven MPs from across the political spectrum will be competing in the 26-mile course.The MPs have come together from all parts of the UK to raise money for a variety of charities.
The MPs competing in the 26-mile marathon include Ed Balls, Edward Timpson, Graham Evans, Greg Mulholland, Alun Cairns, Chris Kelly and Jack Lopresti.
The experience is set to be a new one for several of the MPs, who despite all the training have yet to run a full marathon.
These first-timers include the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, Graham Evans, Alun Cairns, Chris Kelly and Jack Lopresti.
Vale MP Alun Cairns got lost during a practice run in London and had to ask a road-sweeper for directions. Fortunately the novices are in good company with fellow MPs Edward Timpson and Greg Mulholland competitors in previous marathons. In fact, Crewe MP Timpson has seven London marathons and two New York marathons under his belt.
North West Leeds MP Mulholland is another marathon veteran, previously competing in the Belfast Marathon and most recently the Paris Marathon. The London Marathon will conclude his 652-mile challenge for Jane Tomlinson Appeal which raises money for children’s and cancer charities in the UK and abroad.
Charities that are being supported by the MPs include Action Heart, Action for Stammering Children, Atal-y-fro , Barry for MIND, CLIMB, Dudley Group of Hospitals Charity, East Cheshire Hospice, Halton Haven Hospice, the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, the Royal British Legion and Whizz Kids
The MPs may be dedicated to raising money for these charities, but there is another issue that may help motivate them - what their overall finishing time is going to be.
The best record for any MP in the London Marathon was set by former Conservative MP-turned-journalist Matthew Parris who completed the marathon in just two hours, 32 minutes and 57 seconds. The record was set in 1985 and has yet to be beaten by any sitting or retired MP. The second best time was by the former Labour member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne North, Doug Henderson, now 62 years-old. In 1989 he completed the marathon in two hours, 52 minutes and 24 seconds.